All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

David Becker

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) School of Public Health


There is a growing recognition among hospitals, payers, and policymakers in the United States that addressing social needs of patients is important to improving quality of care, patient outcomes, and lowering health care spending. Accountable care organizations (ACOs) may be especially incentivized to address social needs of patients to meet population health goals related to patient outcomes and costs. This cross-sectional study used data from the American Hospital Association Annual Survey to explore to explore how hospitals participating in or leading ACOs are screening for and addressing individual-level HRSNs of patients and to understand the extent to which ACOs are collaborating with external partners to address HRSNs and community-level SDOH. Overall, this study found hospitals participating in or leading ACOs reported higher rates of external partnerships to address social needs of patients and community level SDOH compared to non-ACO hospitals, which suggests hospitals participating in ACOs seek external partners with expertise or resources to address social needs of their patients. However, only hospitals leading ACOs reported engaging in higher rates of screening and internal strategies compared to non-ACO hospitals. This nuanced finding suggests hospitals leading ACOs may be better positioned to engage in these activities due to existing population health management infrastructure and financial incentives to meet ACO goals.

Included in

Public Health Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.